KenCrest has recently consolidated our COVID-19 resources into the following four categories for ease of viewing/finding information. Simply click on one of the categories below for the information you’re looking for.
Messages from Our CEO About COVID-19
March 13, 2020
To our families, staff, and participants:
We are closely following advice from local, state, and federal health authorities regarding the coronavirus pandemic. The most important advice to follow, which all authorities agree upon, is handwashing. This is our best defense against the spread of this virus. As the number of cases in our communities grows, new guidelines and precautions can happen at any time.
As of today, KenCrest has not had a staff member or participant identified as having the virus. Here is a brief summary of our actions that we’ve taken this week, as well as our plans moving forward.
- As of March 13th, our day programs for adults in Chester and Montgomery Counties are closed. We expect that they will remain closed until March 30th.
- Our Early Intervention services in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania are also suspended until March 31st. As of March 23, our Early Intervention programs in Chester, Bucks, Delaware, Montgomery and Philadelphia are providing tele-intervention services supporting children and families.
- Our Early Learning Centers in Philadelphia are closed through March 27th in accordance with the School District of Philadelphia.
- If a staff member calls out sick, we will remind them of the virus symptoms and ask them to call their doctor.
- We will remind everyone to keep surfaces clean. Bleach is preferred but when supplies run low, soap and water helps.
- Individuals in our community homes will not have scheduled community activities, and we will restrict visits from non-KenCrest staff. This measure is in keeping with advice from the PA State Office of Developmental Programs.
- All other programs and services in PA, DE, and CT are open.
We suggest that everyone learn more about the virus and how to keep themselves and their loved ones safe. Access the latest information and health precautions by going to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website.
CEO and President of KenCrest
Coronavirus (COVID-19) Updates from KenCrest
UPDATE: March 17, 2020
For families who use our Early Intervention services, we have the following updates to share.
In the state of Pennsylvania:
- There are no Early Intervention services in Montgomery County, Chester County, Delaware County, Bucks County, and Philadelphia County. These services will begin again when the school districts for these counties re-open. As of March 23, our Early Intervention programs in Chester, Bucks, Delaware, Montgomery and Philadelphia are providing tele-intervention services supporting children and families.
- There are no services available for Montgomery County Intermediate Unit and Delaware County Intermediate Unit. These services will begin again when the school districts for these counties re-open.
In the state of Delaware:
- North and South – the program is open throughout the state
COVID-19 Resources for Families
The following are resources and tips for families regarding the Coronavirus:
- List of Non-Philadelphia Meal Sites
- List of Philadelphia Meal Sites
- Philadbundance Searchable Food Map of Philadelphia
For Emotional Support
- Coronavirus Social Story – from ASERT Collaborative
- Hand Washing Tips – from ASERT Collaborative
- Social Distancing Tips – from ASERT Collaborative
- COVID-19 Communication Board – from Temple University
- Toolkit of Ready-Made Resources to Support Individuals with Autism Around the COVID Crisis – from The Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute at UNC
KenCrest COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What if a staff member appears to be sick?
A: We ask all employees who are sick to stay home. To err on the side of caution, if any employee exhibits a fever, coughing, and/or difficulty breathing while at work, we will ask them to seek medical evaluation, and they will be sent home.
Q: What steps can we take now to minimize risk of transmission?
A: Repeatedly, creatively, and aggressively encourage all employees and others to take the same steps they should be taking to avoid the seasonal flu. For the annual influenza, SARS, Asian flu, swine flu, and now the COVID-19 coronavirus, the best way to prevent infection is to avoid exposure. Everyone should follow these tips:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer of at least 60% alcohol.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with others, especially those who are sick.
- Practice social distancing – refrain from shaking hands with others for the time being.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
- Perhaps the most important message you can give to employees: stay home when you are sick.
Q: Have there been any cases of Coronavirus at KenCrest?
A: No, we do not have any cases.
Q: Who should call/see their doctor?
A: The symptoms of the virus are cough, fever, and shortness of breath. You need to contact your doctor if you have these symptoms.
Q: Am I allowed to visit my loved one at their community home?
A: Effective March 16, 2020, a no in-person visitation policy has been put in place at all KenCrest community homes to limit residents’ potential exposure to the virus. Families are also not allowed to pick up residents for overnight visits. We encourage you to FaceTime, call, or video chat with your loved one.
Community Living and Other Residential Programs
Q: Is KenCrest stopping all public activities?
A: We are following the guidelines as established by the CDC and our service states, which include closing our day programs, limiting our community participation activities to essential activities only, and limiting activities within our In-Home Community Supports and Supported Independent Living programs. We are still encouraging exercise at our homes and getting people outside to take walks in their local parks or neighborhoods in non-crowded areas.
Q: What is the plan if our loved ones become ill?
A: Those we support are being monitored regularly for all illnesses. We are paying particular attention to the symptoms that have been identified as those closely associated with COVID-19. Should any of these appear, your loved one’s status will be immediately shared with the nursing staff, who is in regular contact with each of our homes. Following the CDC guidelines, we’ll call their primary doctor, follow the recommendations received, and if determined necessary by their physician, transport your loved one to the emergency room.
Q: What is the plan if our loved one’s roommate(s) or staff member becomes ill?
A: Those we support are being monitored regularly for all illnesses. We are paying particular attention to the symptoms that have been identified as those closely associated with COVID-19. Should any of these appear, we will share the individual’s status with the nursing staff, who is in regular contact with each of our homes. Following the CDC guidelines, we’ll call their primary doctor, follow the recommendations received, and if determined necessary by their physician, transport them to the emergency room. If the individual does not need emergency care, we will do our best to quarantine them to their bedroom. Our goal is to support people in their homes, where they’re most comfortable, as much as possible. If a staff member becomes ill, he or she will be sent home to self-quarantine and recover. They may return to work after two weeks and being cleared by a doctor.
Q: Will you send clients to the hospital?
A: Yes, if it is determined to be medically necessary by the recommendations of the primary care physician.
Q: How are you testing clients for Coronavirus?
A: We are not testing anyone at any of our locations; testing is being done at designated hospital staff. If medically necessary as determined by the family physician, we will transport any individual who is suspect to the hospital for further evaluation. As of March 17, 2020, a doctor’s order is necessary to receive a COVID-19 test.
Q: What are clients doing during the day if their daily programs are shut down?
A: Our day program staff have been reassigned to work in the homes and are providing services to individuals in their community homes. We have team members who have created activity plans for day program staff to lead in the community homes to keep everyone engaged. Those activities are still ramping up and improving with each passing day.
Q: Are transportation vehicles being disinfected on a nightly basis?
A: Our use of the vehicles is very limited since we’re not going out. Staff have been instructed to clean them if they find it necessary to take clients out of the homes.
Q: Do the facilities have enough hand sanitizer and other cleaning supplies on hand?
A: They currently have cleaning supplies. Additional supplies are on order and scheduled to arrive in the upcoming days. Hand sanitizer is not permitted to be kept in open spaces in the homes, but staff are permitted to carry it on them. In the event that we run out of the purchased bleach sanitation wipes, our locations have guidelines on creating their own bleach solution wipes.
Q: Are community activities being limited, or are clients still going out and about as usual?
A: We are following the guidelines as established by the CDC and our service states, and limiting our community activities. This includes but isn’t limited to attending church services, social events, and/or anything that draws a large group of people. We are still encouraging exercise at our homes and getting people outside to take walks in their local parks or neighborhoods in non-crowded areas.
Q: What steps are being taken to ensure that substitute staff are available should a regular staff member become ill?
A: We have centralized scheduling, which has access to our entire available workforce. We’re assessing our training needs so that our front office support and administration staff can supplement our direct care work force, if needed.
Q: Are the homes stocked with emergency supplies in the event that the house needs to be quarantined?
A: We have procedures in place regarding quarantining and supplies, and we are considering and updating those daily.
Q: What communication protocol has been put out to keep everyone informed?
A: Internally, we have daily calls with our leadership team, host virtual town hall calls with all staff frequently, and disseminate information through our internal communication platforms and tools. Externally, we’ve sent out letters to all the families and individuals we support, posted updates to our website about how KenCrest is handling the COVID-19 situation, made our website available in multiple languages, maintained an on-going list of frequently asked questions on the website, established a hot line number (833-329-4333) and email (firstname.lastname@example.org) for questions from the community, and posted directives to our social media pages. We are currently exploring other communication tools including a text message application for staff and for families. If you have any suggestions, please contact us at email@example.com. We welcome your feedback.
Early Learning Centers
Q: Are KenCrest Early Learning Centers offering free/reduced-price breakfast or lunch services at their locations?
A: KenCrest’s Early Learning Centers (ELCs) receive funding through the School District of Philadelphia. Any child previously receiving free or reduced-price breakfast and lunch at any of our locations will be able to take advantage of the meal service programs being provided by the School District of Philadelphia during our closures. As of March 23, 2020, 80 locations will help to provide meals at certain hours of certain days. Click here to find the list of locations providing the meal services as well as locations providing safe activities throughout the week. Please do not go to any of our ELC locations looking for this service; all of our centers are closed.
When KenCrest makes the news, you can read all about it! Check out our News Coverage page for links to our most recent media highlights.
Sign up for our quarterly news to get the most up to date information available. Feel free to view any of our past newsletters as well.